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One of the kings of Snake Plants is the Dracaena Masoniana or better known as the Whale Fin Sansevieria. This indoor plant has gigantic leaves but is also a rare plant not easily found. Some online plant providers also sell it as Mason’s Congo Sansevieria.
Today, we will help care for your unique Snake Plant and show you how to propagate it to keep one on hand at all times.
What is Whale Fin Sansevieria?
According to the University of Florida, the Whale Fin Snake plant is the Sansevieria masoniana‘s common name. It belongs to the Agavaceae family. You find the particular plant in Central Africa, mainly in the Congo.
As you can see, the leaves are spectacularly forming a stiff yet erect large whale fin. The dark green to silver grey markings creates variegation that looks like the whale’s skin. Even upon touching it, you feel it is stiff and leathery.
When grown as an outdoor plant, it can reach up to four feet tall and ten inches wide, as big as a real whale fin. Yet, as an indoor plant, it grows two feet tall and five inches wide. The important thing is to provide the snake plants with the right lighting conditions, water, and temperature.
Another thing is the Sansevieria Whale Fin plant is a slow grower and perfect to place in an indoor setting.
How to Care for Whale Fin Snake Plant?
Whale Fin is semi-succulent, and you can treat it the same as your other succulent plants. It is a drought-tolerant slow-growing plant and can tolerate some neglect as well.
Right Soil Mix for Snake Plants
The critical thing for snake plants is to have a well-drained potting mix. The easy way out is to invest in a succulent mix, or you can put together a soil mix yourself. We recommend adding some crushed bricks, sand, perlite, fish tank gravel, and pumice, making for excellent soil.
A big NO is using clay soil or one with organic matter. The reason is that mulch, manure, and compost retain water and are not advisable to use in a mix as they can lead to root rot.
Another recommendation is to provide your Whale Fin with a heavy planter made of ceramic or terracotta. As your plant grows vertically upward, it can become top-heavy, topping over in a too lightweight plot. Underneath the soil, it produces rhizomes and needs to spread out in a lateral space with depth.
Hence, providing your snake plants with a good-sized pot helps long-term growth. Also, make sure the container has enough drainage holes allowing the water to run freely from the pot.
Whale Fin Lighting Needs
When it comes to Whale Fin Sansevieria care, there must be sufficient light. While many gardeners say it is a shade-loving plant and can tolerate lower light, too much shade slows down the growth. In return, those gorgeous leaves will lose their sheen. So, provide your plant with a bit of direct sun as it is a hardy tropical plant used to the direct light.
Watering Needs of your Whale Fin Sansevieria
You need not water your Whale Fin plant during fall and winter. But if you do, water it once every four weeks. The rule of thumb is to keep checking the top two inches of the soil to see if it’s moist or dry.
We recommend using the drench and dry technique before watering. When it’s summer, you will notice you need to water your Sansevieria masoniana every five days, depending on where you live.
Another crucial thing is not to water your plant using a misting device or spray can. We recommend watering your snake plant around the base.
Temperature & Humidity
When growing Whale Fin Snake plants indoors, it needs little maintenance as it grows well in ambient room temperatures. You can provide your tropical plant with temperatures between 65°F to 75°F (18 – 24°C).
But if you have your plant standing outdoors with temperature drops, we recommend bringing it inside as it is not frost-tolerant. In addition, the Whale Fin Snake plant is not a high-maintenance plant.
They are not fussy about humidity, survive in most conditions, and prefer dry air-conditioned rooms. So, if you live in the northern zones with dry winter months, it is one thing you will get right with this plant.
Another exciting thing is that a NASA study shows that the snake plant is an air purifier so having it in your home has loads of benefits.
How to Fertilize Sansevieria masoniana?
Growing your young plants to mature plants can go without using fertilizers. It is a light feeder and can react when over-fertilizing. Still, you can give it a succulent fertilizer in the growing season if you want to. We recommend a water-soluble feed once a month. We also recommend starting feeding a plant older than a year old.
Propagating Whale Fin Plants
To ensure that you always have gorgeous Sansevieria plants, you can use the following propagation tips here.
It is a natural process, but you need patience for nature to take its course.
You will need to wait for the mature plant to grow offsets above the soil.
Once you notice these offsets, you remove your plant from the container to dust off the potting mix.
You will see them attached to the parent plant with a rhizome.
Cut the connecting rhizome using a sharp knife or shears.
Leave the cutting to dry out for a day and plant it in fresh soil.
Using the leaf-cutting method does take a bit longer, but you can grow more plants using this technique.
From the mother plant, cut a healthy-looking leaf or two.
Please leave it to be callous for a day.
Place the leaf cuttings in a glass for water propagation.
Leave it standing in bright indirect light and change the water weekly until it roots.
Once it roots, plants the cut leaf into a pot with soil and care for it.
Compared to your mature plants, your younger plants need more water to establish their roots.
Other Sansevieria Species
In the Sansevieria plant kingdom, you get a lot of snake plant varieties, as seen here.
The plant has long leaves with a dark green color and light bands. The leaf tips are soft, and it blooms white flower in spring with beautiful purple stripes. The plant thrives in bright light and needs watering sparingly.
The plant grows with upright linear-lanceolate leaves forming a rosette. It looks like green-colored grass with light bands. You can see up to three vertical stripes with a smooth leaf texture. The foliage can turn white and grow greenish to white inflorescence as it ages.
The snake plant grows an upright lanceolate leaf from a rhizome standing together like a rosette. The surface of the foliage is smooth up to the tip. It produces a spike-shaped white inflorescence.
Whale Fin Sansevieria Diseases and Pests
Whale Fin Sansevieria is a versatile plant and not bothered by many insects or diseases. Still, there are some common concerns you need to keep an eye on.
When you grow your Sansevieria masoniana with little water, the leaves dry out at the edges. You can quickly fix the problem by watering your plant. But if you notice the leaves are wilted up, then water in sips for a couple of days before doing the drench and dry.
A typical sign of root rot is dislodged stems at the base that look slushy and brown. The best is to salvage healthy-looking leaves for propagation.
Pests that can cause problems are mealybugs and spider mites, and getting rid of them helps to wipe your plant clean using some neem oil diluted in water.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you receive the Whale Fin Sansevieria, you receive it in a pot with a single leaf. You can grow it outdoors or as an indoor plant as it can handle full sun. You can grow it in partial sun as well.
The Sansevieria masoniana is considered a rare plant. But you can find them sold in a small pot and are easy to find online. But if you want a readily available larger pot plant, you will pay more.
The likeliness is that your plant is completely dry and underwater. As the leaves lose moisture, it starts to curl up. We recommend providing it with sips of water before drenching your plant completely.